Maxeke meets uHadi

The Eastern Cape Indigenous Music and Dances Ensemble is, once again, presenting the Festival with a colourful, energy filled and entertaining traditional music and dance production. The country is celebrating struggle icon, Mama Charlotte Maxeke, who would be 150 years old this year. She contributed immensely to the liberation of this country as a politician, not forgetting the role she played as a chorister. The Eastern Cape Ensemble is presenting a youthful production with one female icon, Mama uDunyiswa Holweni. She has been playing uhadi for more than 40 years. She has travelled the world and was there when the Ensemble was established more than 20 years ago. She is the mother figure in the production, our Charlotte Maxeke.

For the first time in its history, the Ensemble will be collaborating with an artist doing African jazz. Renowned jazz artist, Dumza Maswana will join more than 20 artists playing different traditional instruments on stage. There will be uhadi, umrhube, makweyana and traditional drums. This collaboration will really show the artistic capabilities of the Ensemble and what can be found in the Eastern Cape. This is for all music and dance lovers to enjoy.

  • Ticket Price: R50.00
  • Genre: Dance
  • Duration: 1h 15mins
  • Ages: All ages



Production Manager: Nkoi Matshoba
Artists Manager: Thandeka Ntlonti
Artistic Director: Reggie Danster
Choreographer: Mandilakhe Gwashu
Music Director: Mpho Molikeng

Siyanda Malindonga
Sibongile Steven
Lorna Ndyebi
Ntombizanele Sabani
Yonela Gobingca
Sikholiwe Genge
Khayalethu Mkathu
Limzolele Khetsekile
Simamkele Majubela
Onesimo Seku
Sinentlantla Tyambetyu
Owethu Ntweni
Indiphile Gwala
Fikile Kami
Eldin Jacobs

Dunyiswa Holweni
Lungelwa Mangqamfane
Vuyolwethu Nyangwa

Simphiwe Botile

Zola Mqwebedu
Andile Jaha
Phumlani Sonwabe


Mpho Molikeng
Mpho Molikeng is a Lesotho-born multifaceted artist. He is a curator, actor, musician, poet, painter, storyteller and cultural activist. Molikeng plays a number of African instruments such as lesiba, mamokhorong, setolo-tolo, mbira, djembe and others. In 1995, he studied Fine Arts with Bloemfontein college. He also studied Drama at Soyikwa Institute of African Theater in 1998. In 2016, Molikeng was the co-facilitator at the Music In Africa Instrument Building and Repair Workshop. As of 2017, he was a visiting lecturer at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Reginald Danster
Reginald Danster is a strong artistic developer with an excellent knowledge of the performing arts industry. He specialises in strategic planning, marketing, events management, festival management, skills development, concept development, fund-raising packages and sponsorships. He’s been involved in a large number of dance projects, including the Sowrto Dance Project (resident choreographer) and the Mangaung Dance Project (Director). He is an excellent developer of youth activities.

Mandilakhe Gwashu
Dancer and Choreographer Mandilakhe Gwashu who is from KwaZakhele in Port Elizabeth began dancing in 2002 as part of the community group Indaba Arts and Theatre Productions. In 2005 Indaba merged with another local group and became Imbumba Dance Company which later staged the production ‘Me And My Four Wives’ at the Barn Theatre PE Opera House. In 2006 Mandilakhe joined Uphondo Lwe Afrika and performed in the musical called AUNT ROSE at the 2007 National Arts Festival and at the PE Opera House Main Stage. In 2010 he was afforded the opportunity to be part of the Eastern Cape Dance Ensemble performing at the National Arts Festival, Hong Kong and Shanghai International Exposition.
Mandilakhe travelled with the production Qongqothwane to San’ya Island and Beijing in the BRICS International Summit, performing with Uphondo Lwe Afrika which would later be performed at the National Arts Festival as well as the PE Opera House Main Stage. Mandilakhe joined Africa Umoja in 2011 and toured the Seychelles Island and Mexico performing in cities such as Tapachula Chiapas, Leon, Oaxaca and St Louis Potosi. With the vast travelling this afforded Mandilakhe wonderful opportunities of attending Dance Masterclasses and workshops with acclaimed international dancers and choreographers.
He continued to travel throughout Europe and Africa for the better part of 2012 through to 2014. Upon his return Mandilakhe brought back to life his Dance Company Ikusasa and performed at the Mamela Arts Festival. The following year he produced and choreographed Slavery and was staged at the Iphulo Performing Arts Festival as well as Two Is Better Than One which was produced and Choreographed by Mandilakhe and Siya Mbambaza.

In June 2015 he was cast at the PE Opera House production as part of the production called Inde Le Ndlela written by Mr. Monde Ngonyama, directed by Xabiso Zweni, choreographed by Nicky Raypen and Makhosi Dingiswayo. During the same year Mandilakhe was selected to be a dance facilitator for choreographers from 8 districts of the Eastern Cape partaking in the Shukuma Provincial Dance Festival working alongside with Zamxolo Mgoduka. Mandilakhe was also selected to be part of the Street Theatre production called Zwelibanzi marking the Grand Reopening of the PE Opera House

He has also appeared in television commercials namely for BKB as a sheep shearer and in another advertisement for Afgri. Mandilakhe was selected to be a dance facilitator during the Nelson Mandela Bay Township Schools Dance Festival. He was appointed as a judge at the College Competition that took place at the Opera House in May. In June 2016 Mandilakhe toured with Ubuhle be Afrika travelling to Romania, Switzerland and France and performed in the Festival de Martigues. Upon his return in August he was once again chosen to facilitate for the winning district choreographers around Eastern Cape working with fellow dancer and Choreographer Nomhle Qambata. During this time he was tasked by the PE Opera House to choreograph a Toyi Toyi dance piece which was first performed at the Nelson Mandela University and at the opening of the Shukuma Provincial Dance Festival. He was chosen to take part in the Job Creation Incubator in a program called Performing Arts Business Support were his production was selected to be one that will be commissioned and perform at Iphulo Festival and National Arts Festival 2017. The production titled FALLEN FULLS, produced and choreographed by Mandilakhe Gwashu, directed by Xabiso Zweni and music composed by local various artists.
In 2018 and 2019 he was invited by the South African Embassy to perform at the BTL Tourism Fair and conduct traditional dance workshop with a Portuguese organisation called Batoto Yetu.
His company Ikusasa Performing Arts performed in two different international festivals in South Korea, the company was invited by the South African Embassy in Spain in March 2020 but due to Covid19 the tour was cancelled. He choreographed a production titled THETHA which was performed at the Opera House Women In Arts festival, he then again choreographed EMV’EKHAYA which was performed at Shukuma Provincial Dance Competition/ Festival were his company was given 1st position at the festival. In 2020, Mandilakhe received a special award in Performing Arts by the MEC of Eastern Cape Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture.
In that same year, he choreographed a production for the Eastern Cape Indigenous Dance Ensemble for Virtual National Arts Festival 2020.
He recently produced and choreographed his new work titled ZAZI which was performed by Ikusasa Arts Development.
He was selected to choreograph for the Eastern Cape Dance Ensemble performance for Human Right Day which was aired on SABC 1 on the 21st of March 2021.
He just completed his new project called Umanyano Dance Outreach Project, where he was touring Eastern Cape with his team conducting dance workshops.
He is also a finalist for Best Dancer for the Amaciko Awards 2020 which will be held later in May this year in Durban and has recently been featured in a Recoffy advert.
His dance production “Thetha” is invited to South African State Theatre to be part of VAVASATI FESTIVAL which will be taking place in August this year.

Dumza Maswana
When first you hear the voice, rich, warm, remarkable, it’s a voice that suits a secret sharer, a young man who tells the truth. Dumza Maswana has done just that– in songs crafty, subtle and sublime. Dumza’s songs are in the truest sense soul music; even at their boldest, driven by his passionate 5piece band, they touch the listener like a whisper to the ear, like confessions from heart to heart.

Dumisani Maswana a.k.a DUMZA MASWANA is a name that is sending a strong message to all the music lovers. He is a special gem who is full of smoke and passion for what he does.
Born on the 14th of April 1983 in Peddie, in the Eastern Cape, Dumza is a versatile musician who started singing at a tender age of 9 and has sang for various church choirs at various conventions, competitions and festivals.
His debut album ‘Iphupha Lam’ has hit the entertainment industry by storm. The album was produced by his friend Vukile Koli and Dumisani Maswana himself and was recorded using a full band at studio 12 by Cr8ive Nest Entertainment. He is considered by many a very humble and down to earth artist, with a lot of respect and trust in his African culture and religion.

He performed alongside big names like MXO, Loyiso Bala, Tshepo Tshola, Ringo, Martin Phike, Mafikizolo, Kelly Khumalo, Sharon Dee, Bantu Soul, and Ntando to mention but a few. In 2005, Dumza, as he is popularly known, had the rare opportunity of sharing the stage with the internationally acclaimed Kenny Lattimore and Chante Moore during their tour in Port Elizabeth, when he performed with the Mo Jazz Band. This modest and up and coming star has began to hit the music scene with his fresh and equally inspirational genre of Afro soul/jazz which has an unusual flare of melancholy and exuberance all at the same time. This home-grown talent is certainly a must see and hear. His music appeals to a wider crossover audience both in South Africa and beyond borders.

In 1997, in Peddie in the Eastern Cape, he formed a male group together with his four friends, they called themselves Healing Voices, they recorded two albums which were sold in the streets and wherever they performed. In 2002 he started working as a session artist for many known artists, both in studio and live on stage. In 2003 he joined a jazz band called Mo-Jazz Band as a vocalist, with this band he performed in Macufe Festival, Grahamstown National Festival and curtain raised for artists like Ringo, Thandiswa Mazwaai and many other known artists.
Dumza’s music and stage performance is justification for his reputation as one of the most promising artist in his genre. The message in his lyrics defines his personality and explains why he’s ready to take South African music by storm.